‘The Federal Republic of Nigeria vs. Sowore’: Will a Charge of Treason or Treasonable Felony Stand Against the Mastermind of #RevolutionNow? — A Legal Opinion

10 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2019

See all articles by Gbenga Odugbemi

Gbenga Odugbemi

Babcock University - School of Law and Security Studies; University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Date Written: August 12, 2019

Abstract

This article examines the recent arrest of the human right activist — Omoyele Sowore — following his desire to spark a “revolution” in Nigeria starting from August 5, 2019. He started the campaign for the said “revolution” and as a means of creating awareness, via the hashtag #RevolutionNow. Even though what was actually planned by Sowore remains controversial pre- the August 5 protest as to whether he meant a forceful takeover of government — which is what “revolution” ordinarily connotes — or a protest — which is allowed by law. However, what eventually transpired on August 5 was more of a “protest” as contemplated by most Nigerians. Still, the Nigeria government tries to define the intention of the main organizer — Sowore — in the complete sense of the word “revolution” (which he had used) as a forceful takeover of the government, and arrested Sowore days before the protest commencement (on August 2) via its State Security Services. **At the time of writing this article, Sowore is still in custody. As he was remanded by the State Services, arguments and debates ensued amongst Nigerians on whether Sowore could be charged and/or convicted of treason or treasonable felony. This article examines the facts of the incidences involved and answers (from the legal lens) in the negative. The possibility of a terrorism charge is also examined, albeit, briefly, and the chances of a conviction based on it is also unsustainable.

Suggested Citation

Odugbemi, Gbenga, ‘The Federal Republic of Nigeria vs. Sowore’: Will a Charge of Treason or Treasonable Felony Stand Against the Mastermind of #RevolutionNow? — A Legal Opinion (August 12, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3435970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3435970

Gbenga Odugbemi (Contact Author)

Babcock University - School of Law and Security Studies ( email )

Ilishan, Ogun State 110011
Nigeria

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

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